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GP Week : Issue 204
at BriEFly » Randy de Puniet is reinforcing his ties with Suzuki. The factory’s MotoGP test rider will suit up for next month’s Suzuka 8 Hour, sharing a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 alongside fellow tester Takuya Tsuda and Josh Waters. The team’s second entry will be ridden by 1993 World 500cc Champion Kevin Schwantz, former All Japan Superbike Champion Satoshi Tsujimoto and Nobuatsu Aoki. » Scott Redding has been issued with a post-race penalty from Barcelona. The Brit was dropped from 12th to 13th place after being given a time penalty for gaining an unfair advantage while battling with Nicky Hayden. » Forward Racing has started its test program for the 2015 season. Aleix Espargaro tested a new chassis at the post-Barcelona test, completing 25 laps and calling the results “better than expected”. The team, which will have to give up its 2013 Yamaha M1 chassis at the end of the season, also tested a new design fuel tank. » Marc and Alex Marquez made history in Barcelona; never before have brothers won World Championships GPs on the same day. Alex’s second career win gave Honda its first in Moto3 since the 2012 Italian GP. The result ended a 31-race winning streak for KTM-powered machines. » A gear lever was not the only thing that Alex Rins broke in Barcelona. The Estrella Galicia Honda rider was probably slightly relieved when he had to retire after only three laps as he was carrying a broken foot after an off in Qualifying. HONDA: WE WANT TO KEEP DANI MOTOGP >>> nEWs Honda has maintained that keeping Dani Pedrosa in its MotoGP team is a priority. Repsol Honda team principal Livio suppo has said that re-signing the spaniard is one of the team aims, in spite of the fact that he has been overshadowed by countryman Marc Marquez over the last two seasons. Pedrosa, who is managed by former racer Alberto Puig, currently lies third in the MotoGP World Championship, only five behind Valentino Rossi but 63 behind tearaway leader Marquez. “For sure, we will speak with Alberto,” suppo said recently. “Of course, the priority for Dani is to remain here and the priority for Honda is to keep him here – and that is what we have to do. Now we will go ahead, but there is no rush.” Pedrosa’s name had been linked with suzuki, until a month ago among suggestions that his manager had asked for a gigantic amount of money. Meanwhile Jorge Lorenzo still appears to be in no hurry to sort out his future either, though it appears more likely that he will remain with Yamaha and the suggestions that any talk of a move to Honda are more like bargaining chips than career ambitions. RABAT DENIES MOTOGP DEAL Tito Rabat has denied that he has a MotoGP deal in place for next season. The Spaniard, who has won four of the opening seven MotoGP races of the season, is thought to be central to the team’s long-rumoured ascension to the premier category. But Rabat has denied that there is a deal done – sort of. “It is too early to say,” said Rabat. “I’m focusing on this year at the moment and winning in Moto2.” Marc VDS has impeccable credentials and strong links. The team is run by former factory Kawasaki MotoGP team manager Michael Bartholemy, and firm backing. The team’s options appear to include leasing Yamaha engines for use with a Kalex frame, or Honda’s Open class RCV1000R, which is expected to receive technical upgrades from the start of 2015. As for teammates, teammate Mika Kallio has previous MotoGP experience, finishing 15th and 17th in 2009 and 2010, respectively, when he raced for Pramac Ducati. However another possibility appears to be Bradley Smith, who is in the second year of a two-year deal with Tech 3. Smith has been overshadowed by the speed of MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro, and may be looking for a seat next season. 17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: